PA's ruling faction calls for expelling Hungarian envoy to Ramallah

Last week, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the head of the Hungarian diplomatic mission in Ramallah to deliver an official complaint.

 Palestinians attend a rally marking the 57th anniversary of Fatah movement foundation (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Palestinians attend a rally marking the 57th anniversary of Fatah movement foundation
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

The ruling Fatah faction has called on the Palestinian Authority to expel the head of the Representative Office of Hungary in Ramallah, Dr. Csaba Rada, to protest a recent agreement signed between the Samaria Regional Council and the Hungarian city of Héviz.

The council represents settlements in the northern West Bank.

The twin-towns agreement, which was first signed in 2017, includes cooperation in the areas of finance, industry and tourism between the settlement council and Héviz, a prominent tourist destination located near Lake Hévis, the world’s second-largest thermal lake.

The latest agreement aims to further strengthen cooperation between the two partners, and a delegation from the Hungarian city is expected to visit the Samaria region soon.

Raed al-Debai, head of the International Relations Committee of the Fatah Youth Movement, said that his group “does not consider it appropriate for the occupation’s partners to remain” in Ramallah.

 Palestinian Fatah supporters hold flags during a rally marking the 49th anniversary of the Fatah movement, in the West Bank city of Hebron January 2, 2014. (credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA) Palestinian Fatah supporters hold flags during a rally marking the 49th anniversary of the Fatah movement, in the West Bank city of Hebron January 2, 2014. (credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA)

Debai accused Hungary of violating international law and United Nations resolutions, especially Security Council Resolution 2334, which stated that Israeli settlements constitute “a flagrant violation under international law” and that all settlement activities must “immediately and completely cease.”

“Whoever provides a political cover for the occupation and its crimes is not welcome on our land,” he said.

The Fatah official pointed out that Hungary was the only European Union country not to support an EU declaration calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas during last year’s war in the Gaza Strip.

He also criticized Budapest for objecting to a 2019 EU statement condemning Israel’s use of live ammunition and the continuation of its settlement policies.

Last week, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the head of the Hungarian diplomatic mission in Ramallah to deliver an official complaint against the agreement between the Samaria Regional Council and Hévis.

The ministry denounced the pact as “a flagrant violation of international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, specifically Security Council Resolution 2334 of 2016 on settlements, and in contradiction with the positions and policies of the European Union.”

According to the PA ministry, such agreements “give Israel the green light to continue in its aggression against the Palestinian people and their inalienable rights, mainly the right to self-determination, instead of pressuring the occupying power, Israel, to stop its aggression and end its colonial occupation of the Palestinian land.”

The ministry called on the Hungarian government to put pressure on the municipality of Héviz and “to take all legal measures to cancel the agreement in compliance with international humanitarian law that applies to the occupied Palestinian territory, international legality, and the need to adhere to the European Union’s unified position regarding the illegality of Israeli settlements.”